Lifting sanctions, however, won’t be decided by UNSCOM. “You’re never going to be 100 percent certain there are no weapons of mass destruction,” says Dowell. “Ending sanctions will be a political decision, dependent largely on the U.S. changing its Iraq policy.” When that happens, Butler could always ask Starr for a job -- after all, getting into the White House would be child’s play for a man who forced his way into Saddam’s palaces.
NEW YORK: UNSCOM chief Richard Butler could be forgiven for feeling a little like Ken Starr: even though his investigation is not complete, it could still be buried in the shifting sands of politics. U.N. inspectors today finished searching Saddam Hussein’s disputed presidential sites, and came up empty-handed. “They weren’t expecting to find anything; they were simply establishing their right to search those sites,” says TIME U.N. correspondent William Dowell. “Things are on track right now, although UNSCOM staff members privately expect further confrontation with Iraq some time down the road, because the Iraqis are still playing cat-and-mouse.”